This is not meant to spark a huge religious debate (I hope!), but it’s been in the back of my mind for a while.
On my way to work I go past several churches, and one, a Baptist church, calls itself an “MB Church”. I have noticed other churches with letters added to the name, and I was wondering if anyone out there knows what they stand for. I asked a Baptist friend once, and he either didn’t know, or didn’t want to tell me for some reason. Is there a big, huge mystery here, Dopers?
No mystery – “MB” stands for “Missionary Baptist”. I would wager that this is an African-American church, or possibly a transplanted Southern Baptist congregation (some SB churches in northern states use the term “missionary” also).
A Missionary Baptist church is so named because the church directly supports one or more missionaries.
A Southern Baptist church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and is usually a member of a local SB Association. The member churches send money to the Convention and Association (usually a fixed percentage of the church’s income). The amount of monetary support is determined by each member church and is a part of the annual church budget. The Convention uses the money it receives to fund state-wide, national and international projects, including thousands of missionaries. The Associations fund local projects. The individual church financially supprts itself and whatever projects it wishes to undertake.
The difference in philosophy is that MB churches directly fund missionary and community work while the SB churches pool their money to accomplish the same goals.
While it is possible for an SB church to directly support one or more missionaries in addition to supporting the National and State Conventions and local Associations, I know of no church that calls itself both SB and MB.
Sig! Sig a Sog! Sig it loud! Sig it Strog! – Karen Carpenter with a head cold